b"an open-warp technique and hanging the work away from the wall. Her soloshe became fascinated by the artistry in utilitarian looped-wire baskets that show at the Staten Island Museum, New York, in 1961 was an important stepshe saw in Toluca. Inspired by these baskets, Asawa knotted wires together, in the recognition of weaving as art. Her friendship with the painter Agnesleaving space in between and creating woven transparent meshes that shape Martin was one of mutual inspiration.organic forms enveloping inner ones. The works are most often displayed A driving force in the development of textile art was the Biennale inter- hanging freely, light and movable. The shadows become line drawings on nationale de la tapisserie, in Lausanne, Switzerland, which in 1962 launchedthe walls.New Tapestry as an experimental field between painting and sculpture. AtAsawa also made drawings, sometimes showing her surroundingsfirst the focus was on reproducible wall-based tapestries designed by estab- chairs, flowers, family membersand sometimes meandering abstract pat-lished artists and designers such as Pablo Picasso and Le Corbusier andterns. Her attention to family life and the home was in line with the merging woven in major workshops such Les Gobelins, but during the first three ofof art and life that was part of her philosophy. She drew every day, often these biennials the focus shifted to young, experimental, most often femalewithout looking at the drawing but concentrating instead on what was in artists from Central and Eastern Europe. 3 front of her. The drawings and the sculptures share a meditative beauty. TheMoMAexhibitionWall Hangingsin1969wasalsoimportant,Olga de Amaral was educated in architectural drafting and design in representing such artists as Olga de Amaral and Sheila Hicks along withBogot and was appointed director of architectural design at the Colegio Abakanowicz. It was organized by the well-known weaver and designerMayor de Cundinamarca in 1953, a year before she went to study with Jack Lenor Larsen together with consultant Mildred Constantine and ArthurStrengell at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. She is best known for her Woven Drexler, director of the museums Department of Architecture and Design Walls, works that bridge art and architecture by functioning as walls, creat-but it was presented in the galleries for art, revealing a shift in perception ofing and dividing spaces, and, like Hicks, she has worked with architects on the works from craft and function to visual art.large-scale corporate commissions. Amaral has experimented with mixing Like Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks has combined working as an artist withdifferent processes and techniques in the same work. In 1967 she partic-designing for the textile industry, for example on the invitation of the Indianipated in Lausanne's Biennale internationale de la tapisserie, and she has government. She has also had exhibitions and retrospectives at prestigiouscontinued to exbibit internationally since. Her use of shimmering gold leaf museums such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Hicks is considered a pio- was inspired by a meeting with the English ceramist Lucie Rie, who used neer in using fiber to make soft sculptures, weavings, and tapestries in athe material to mend broken pots with the Japanese technique of kintsugi. wide range of sizes, from the monumental to the intimate. She studied atAmaral has traveled the world to learn from others. Yale with Josef Albers, and informally with Anni Albers, and with the art historian George Kubler, a scholar of pre-Colombian and Ibero-AmericanThe 1960s and 70sart. Hicks lived and worked in Mexico between 1959 and 1963, after which she moved to Paris, but she has traveled the world to study and gather inspi- In the 1960s and 70s, textile and fiber art was part of a flourishing of new ration from different textile traditions. On her travels she always brings aaesthetic directions and inventions, including Pop art, Minimalism, Con-small handloom on which she weaves miniatures, which she calls Minimes,ceptualism, performance, video, Land art, and feminist art. Minimalisms which can function as sketches for larger works but are also beautiful worksinterestinspecificobjects,touseDonaldJuddsphraseartthatwas in their own right, like small paintings. Her Prayer Rugs are inspired byneither painting nor sculpture and was not representational (a more pos-arched architecture that she saw in Morocco ; they are hung on the wall anditive way of describing it would be that it was both painting and sculpture)the arched form is articulated by bound, tasseled, clustered, protrudingwas in line with textile and fiber art. 4Unlike a painting, a colored or woven yarns. The colors are often humble beiges or neutral whites. The Prayercloth has no front or back. It is a material that can be folded, pleated, Rugs are intended to give a sense of ascension to anyone of any religion whodraped,andmadeintomanydifferentshapes.Awovenclothisalso wishes to communicate with something bigger than themselves.three-dimensional in its structure, as it is made up of interwoven threads Hickss weavings and tapestries developed to be more three-dimen- in a rhythmic over and under. This structure is close to a central device sional and textured, with yarn falling out of the gridded structure that fol- of modernism, the grid. The artist Isabella Ducrot has pointed out that a lows from the warp and weft. She was also among the first to work withcheckered cloth, which is one of the most common everyday fabrics, repre-fiber without weaving, instead employing other traditional constructionsents truth as it visualizes its own structure and how it is made. 5techniques from other cultures such as knotting, plaiting, coiling, twining,The soft eccentric abstractions of Postminimalism also used textiles and looping. They open up a wide range of possibilities : leaving the wall,and their techniques to some extent, for example in Eva Hesses rope works, loose threads can hang freely from the ceiling, like lianas or waterfalls ofFredSandbackssculpturesofyarn,Morrissfeltpieces,andmuchof intense colorsscarlet, burgundy, red-orange, blue, purple, gold. In someRichard Tuttles work. The Postminimalists thought that art should express works the fibers collect in a series of ponytails. Others are placed on thethe properties of its materials and the process of its making, much as fiber floor, sometimes draped over a support, such as a pedestal, or kept uprightart does. The building principles of the artwork are visible both in weaving by an armature. This visualization of gravity to emphasize materiality was aand knotting and in much Minimalist and Postminimalist work, particularly device that interested many artists in the 1960s and 70s and was sometimeswhere it uses singular forms (sometimes repeated). 6referred to as antiform, a term introduced by the Minimalist and Post- The increased appreciation of textile art was also in line with the blur-minimalist artist Robert Morris in 1968. Jackson Pollocks drip painting canring of the boundaries between Art and Life described and promoted by be seen as anticipating this interest.Allan Kaprow, the artist who coined the term happening. Abakanowiczs Ruth Asawa studied with Anni and Josef Albers when they were still atAbakansfree-hanging woven fiber sculpturesfor example were installed Black Mountain College. In 1947 she traveled with them to Mexico, wherein ways that turned viewer into participants in what she called situations"